Cerveza Brew Day

Now, before everyone jumps on me and says “Cerveza?! like Cornona?! Why dont you just piss in bottles and put them in the fridge? hurrr hurr hurr”.

Well, we decided to brew this beer as a challenge. Anyone can brew a face melting IPA;  tons of malt, tons of hops, high alcohol, huge body, darker in colour… It’s literally the easiest beer to make. Any error you make in the process is masked by it’s body and extra bitter profile.

A light bodied lager?  Nowhere to hide. This batch was mashed at the very low end of the temperature spectrum which would allow sugar conversion (resulting in a light bodied end beer; no leftover sugar after fermentation) and any cooler it wouldn’t ferment. Any warmer and it would be a sweet lager (eww). It has 40% flaked corn which contributes sugars but no body and allows it to maintain a decent ABV without adding colour or body.  For a 95 litre batch (go big or go home, right?) we only added 3oz of Liberty hops (4.3% alpha) at 60 min and 1.5 oz at flameout.  This should yield a mere 11.5 IBUs and compared to the 80 IBUs touted by the Boneshaker IPA I’m drinking right now while I write this, we used the crumbs at the bottom of it’s hop bag.

Fermenting a heavy ale? Just sprinkle some dry yeast on it and put it in the basement to keep cool. If you did that for a lager it would come out tasting like a banana split. Temperatures must be perfectly controlled and lucky for me, I built a brewpi setup as per the user FuzzeWuzze’s post on the HBT forums (see fermentation chamber page on this site).  For this beer,  it’s going to ferment at 12C for about a week, then up to 16C for a few days (diacetyl rest), then crash cooled back down to 10C for a few more weeks to condition before kegging.  The beer has been in the fermenter for a couple days now and you can see its progress in a screenshot I put in the album of this post. Any part of that process can go wrong and make your beer taste like fratboy homebrew.

But I’m confident. We were all pretty diligent and hit the numbers bang on, and we only had to transfer the whole mash into the boiler so we could fix a stuck sparge once… and that was only after blasting compressed air backwards through the false bottom failed. You can see the beersmith printout at the bottom of this post.



Recipe: Cerveza
Brewer: Dusty
Asst Brewer:
Style: Standard American Lager
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 100.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 92.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 85.00 l
Bottling Volume: 81.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.043 SG
Estimated Color: 5.8 EBC
Estimated IBU: 11.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10.00 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 59.7 %
6.75 kg Corn, Flaked (2.6 EBC) Grain 2 40.3 %
3.00 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 11.5 IBUs
1.50 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 4 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Mexican Lager (White Labs #WLP940) [35.4 Yeast 5 –
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 16.75 kg
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 43.68 l of water at 73.5 C 64.4 C 75 min
Mash Out Add 27.96 l of water at 96.1 C 75.6 C 10 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 45.69 l water at 75.6 C